Rewards credit cards

Earn points as you spend and redeem them for travel, gift cards, shopping and more with a rewards credit card.

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Rewards credit cards are a great way to rack up bank rewards, frequent flyer points or cashback as you spend. If you choose a rewards card that fits with how you spend money – and use it wisely – it can give you a way to get "something for nothing" on purchases you were going to make anyway. In this guide, you can compare a range of rewards credit cards and weigh up your options.

American Express Credit Card Offer

Qantas American Express Premium Card

100,000 bonus Qantas Points &
50 bonus Status Credits

Offer ends 04 November 2020

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

American Express Credit Card Offer

The Qantas American Express Premium Card offers 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.

  • Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and 50 bonus Status Credits when you're approved and spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent, 0.5/$1 on government spend and 1 additional point on select Qantas Australia spend.
  • Complimentary travel insurance and two complimentary single entry invitations to the Qantas Club Lounge per year.
  • Annual fee of $249 and purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a.
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Compare the best rewards credit cards* 2020

When you get a new credit card, you can usually take advantage of sign-up offers for bonus points when you spend a certain amount. These can give you a huge head start on building your rewards balance. Don't forget to check that when comparing cards.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
Qantas American Express Premium Card
100,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points (100k when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months). Plus, 75 bonus Status Credits.
Qantas Premier Platinum
100,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months (with a one-time 1% BT fee).
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
120,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.24% p.a.
$425
Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
Citi Rewards Card - flybuys Offer
75,000
flybuys,Citi Rewards Program
1
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 75,000 bonus flybuys points and a $100 Kmart eGift Card when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, a reduced first-year annual fee.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
N/A
Citi Rewards Program
1
21.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card
100,000
Suncorp Bank Rewards Program
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$129
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, complimentary insurance covers included.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
30,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
120,000
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
N/A
$450
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 120,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
70,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 70,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months and complimentary insurance covers.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
20,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$99
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Coles Rewards Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
N/A
flybuys
2
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save with $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies).
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
70,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $1,500 each month for the first 3 months and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
NAB Rewards Business Signature Card
100,000
NAB Rewards
1.25
18.5% p.a.
$175
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on everyday business purchases in the first 60 days of account opening. ABN required.
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*The credit card offers on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. The use of the terms "best" and "top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

How do rewards credit cards work?

A rewards credit card earns points for every $1 you spend on purchases in Australia and overseas (including online). The points are credited to your account or a linked loyalty program, where you can redeem them for rewards. What you'll get for your points can range from flights and hotels to gift cards, cashback and retail items.

These rewards can help you get more value from your spending. But rewards credit cards typically charge higher interest rates and annual fees than other types of cards. So you'll get more bang for your buck if you pay your balance in full each statement period (to avoid interest) and if you can earn enough points to outweigh the annual fee.

Types of credit card rewards programs in Australia

There are four main reward categories: frequent flyer points, bank rewards points, cashback and retail rewards and supermarket cards. You'll find more details on each of these options below.

Frequent flyer programs

If you're a member of a frequent flyer program, you can use a credit card to earn more points or miles for your existing frequent flyer account. There are two ways you can earn frequent flyer points with a rewards credit card in Australia:

  1. Frequent flyer points per $1 spent. These credit cards are directly partnered with a frequent flyer program and earn frequent flyer points on your eligible spending. Points are automatically added to your frequent flyer account once a month (or at regular intervals). In Australia, the main frequent flyer credit cards are linked to Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer and Emirates Skywards.
  2. Transfer credit card rewards to frequent flyer points. A lot of rewards credit cards let you transfer points to partnered frequent flyer programs. This gives you more flexibility if you fly with a number of airlines or don't travel very often. It can also be a good option if you want to earn points with a program that isn't directly linked with an Australian credit card (e.g. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer). But the number of frequent flyer points you get is usually different to how many credit card points you have. For example, every 2 card points could get you 1 frequent flyer point. This is known as the point transfer or exchange rate and can affect the value you get from your points.

As well as partnerships with frequent flyer programs, many credit card reward programs let you use points for flights, travel upgrades, accommodation, car hire and travel experiences without needing to transfer them first. This can be handy if you want the option of travel rewards but don't want to limit yourself to earning points through a particular frequent flyer program.

Bank and credit card rewards programs

Many credit card companies in Australia have their own rewards programs that give you a mix of ways to use points, with rewards such as travel, merchandise, gift cards, credit on your account or point transfers to frequent flyer and other loyalty programs. The credit card rewards programs you can choose from include the following:

  • Instant reward options on credit cards

Some reward credit cards give you a way to use points instantly when you're shopping with a partnered retailer. For example, if you have a CommBank Awards credit card, you can redeem your points in-store at Myer or Flight Centre. Or, if you have an American Express Membership Rewards card, you can shop with points at Ticketmaster and David Jones (including online).

Cashback credit cards

These credit cards give you a way to get cash rewards for your spending, either in the form of credit back on your account or vouchers you can spend. Some cashback credit cards give you a set percentage of your regular spending as cash back on your account, while other cards come with introductory offers that provide a one-time account credit or voucher when you meet the spend requirements.

You can also get cashback in the form of gift cards when you have a rewards or frequent flyer credit card that offers different ways to use your points. Just look for the "cash" or "gift cards" category of your rewards program to see what options are available.

Retail and supermarket rewards credit cards

These rewards credit cards offer you points, discounts and other perks when you shop with a particular supermarket or major retailer, such as Coles, Woolworths, Myer, Kogan or David Jones. But you can still use them for spending at other shops and businesses (just like any other credit card). The following table gives you some examples of how these programs work.

RetailerCredit cardsRewards
david jones logoDavid Jones American Express & David Jones American Express Platinum CardEarn American Express Membership Rewards or Qantas Points for purchases in David Jones and everywhere else. You can also enjoy exclusive shopping benefits at David Jones, such as complimentary delivery and interest-free plans for eligible purchases. The platinum card also offers complimentary travel insurance and airport lounge access.
ColesLogoColes No Annual Fee & Coles Rewards MastercardEarn Flybuys points at Coles Supermarkets and everywhere else. The credit cards also include your Flybuys membership barcode on the back, so you won't have to pull out your Flybuys card when you're shopping at Coles or another Flybuys partner. Other benefits include mobile payment compatibility and complimentary purchase insurance.
woolworths money logoWoolworths Everyday PlatinumEarn points on your credit card spending, which are then converted to Woolworths Shopping Cards every four months. Other benefits include 10% off your shop at Woolworths once per month and details for your Everyday Rewards membership on the back of the card.
kogan logoKogan Money Black CardEarns Kogan rewards points per $1 spent, which you can use to pay for Kogan.com purchases or for payments to your card. Another benefit is complimentary Kogan First Membership (usually $99), which gives you access to membership deals, free delivery on selected purchases and other perks.

If you often shop with a particular store or brand, you can learn more about credit cards linked with shopping loyalty programs in Finder's guide to retail rewards credit cards.

Pros and cons of rewards credit cards

With so many rewards credit cards to choose from, it's wise to think about how you would use one, what rewards you'd get the most value from and your overall financial situation. Then you can weigh up the other benefits, costs and features to help you find the right rewards card for you.

Pros

  • Points for spending. The most obvious perk of these cards is that you earn rewards of your choice, for money you were going to spend anyway. These could be credit card points, frequent flyer points, cashback and more.
  • Introductory offers and deals. When you apply and get approved for a new rewards credit card, you often have the chance to earn a bunch of bonus points when you spend a certain amount in the first few months.
  • Perks. Rewards credit cards often come with extra perks like travel insurance, purchase insurance, concierge services and lifestyle and entertainment offers. These will usually influence the annual fee.

Cons

  • Higher rates and fees. To pay for the points and perks, these cards typically charge higher ongoing interest rates and annual fees than other cards. This could add to your costs, especially if you carry a balance from month to month.
  • Temptation to overspend. The promise of rewards or frequent flyer points can lead you to spend more than you usually would. But the cost of overspending can cancel out the value you'd get from any points or perks you'd earn.
  • Rewards limitations. While some rewards cards let you earn unlimited amounts of points, many set spending thresholds that cap your ability to earn rewards. If you often spend more than that cap, it will limit how much value you get from the card.
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Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
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How to compare rewards credit cards in Australia

From earning points to the rewards you want to redeem, here are some of the questions and factors to think about when you're comparing rewards credit cards:

  • How can I earn points?

  • Bonus point offers. Rewards credit cards that offer bonus points for new cardholders give you a simple way to boost your point balance, but take note of the offer details before you apply. Usually, you need to meet a spend requirement in a set period of time to score bonus points. So make sure that this requirement fits with your budget.
  • Points per dollar. Also known as the earn rate, this is how many points you'll earn for your spending. The higher the better, but a card that offers at least 1 point per $1 on eligible transactions could be considered good value.
  • Point expiry and caps. Some credit card reward points expire after a certain amount of time and some have a limit on how many points you can earn in a month or year. Make sure these restrictions don't limit you by looking for cards that have an expiry that fits with your goals and a points cap that is higher than what you usually spend.
  • What's the value of the rewards?

  • Point values. To work out the value of your rewards, consider how many points you would need to redeem for a specific reward. For example, let's say you need 12,000 points to get a $50 gift card and your credit card has an earn rate of 1 point per $1 spent. You would need to spend $12,000 before you could redeem the $50 gift card. Breaking down the rewards like this can help you determine whether it's worth your time and money.
  • Rewards partners. Rewards programs often partner with retailers and businesses to give you more ways to use your points. You may also have the opportunity to earn bonus points when you shop with partner stores. Look for a credit card rewards program that has partnerships with your favourite brands and products so you can take advantage of these options.
  • Redemption limitations. Some rewards programs have blackout periods when you may not be able to make redemptions, or limits on items in the rewards store. Check the fine print for this information and consider the impact it could have on you.
  • Table: How much do you need to spend to get rewards?

  • Example: Is the Amex Platinum Edge worth it?

The American Express Platinum Edge sports an annual fee of $195. To make this card worth it, you'd have to take advantage of enough of the card's perks and features to outweigh this $195 fee in value. Here are a few ways you could create that value.

PerkValueNotes
Annual Travel Credit$200Must book through Amex Travel
Total$200Total value of perks excluding rewards and insurance
3 Membership Rewards / $1-At major supermarkets and petrol stations
2 Membership Rewards / $1-In foreign currency, overseas and online
1 Membership Reward / $1-On all other eligible purchases
40,000 Membership Rewards points$200Based on the average spend of $1,800/month at an average 2 pts/ $1. Valued using Coles gift card
Total$400Total approximate value of perks & points
Here you can see you can get $200 of value in one year before you even factor in any points. This does outweigh the cost of the annual fee, so this card is worth it if you take advantage of the credit. Based on the average Australian credit card spend, you can get an additional $200 worth of value out of the Membership Rewards points earned. However, you should calculate your own rewards potential based on your spending patterns. We've also outlined the maximum claim amount of all the insurance covers and you should factor in any potential value based on your personal circumstances.

  • What are the costs?

  • Annual fees. Most rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. The value of the rewards you redeem should be higher than the cost of the annual fee to make it worthwhile. You can also compare rewards credit cards that offer no annual fee – just remember to check if the annual fee is waived in the first year or $0 for life.
  • Purchase interest rates. Rewards credit cards often have high standard interest rates on purchases. Credit cards that offer interest-free days give you a way to avoid interest charges on your purchases, but usually only if you pay your balance in full by the due date on each statement. If you think you'll carry a balance, factor in the cost of interest when you're looking at how much value you'll get from the card. If the interest ends up costing you more, you could check out low-rate credit cards instead.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards charge a fee for transactions made overseas or with an international retailer online. This is usually 2-3.5% of the total transaction. If you're planning to use a rewards card for travel or to shop online with businesses based overseas, make sure you look at this fee before choosing a card – especially for any card that offers more points for foreign transactions. You can compare cards with no foreign transaction fees in this guide.
  • Balance transfer interest rates. Some rewards credit cards also come with 0% balance transfer offers, but you won't earn points for any balance that you transfer to the new card. Plus, any new purchases will attract the card's purchase interest rate. If you have credit card debt that's collecting interest, think about paying it off completely before you look at a rewards card.
  • Cash advance interest rates. If you use a rewards credit card for a cash advance transaction, such as getting money from an ATM, you will be charged interest at the cash advance rate. This rate could be as high as 22% p.a. Cash advances usually don't earn reward points either.
  • Are there any complimentary extras?

Rewards credit cards often come with a variety of additional features that can add value to the account you choose. Popular perks include the following:

Rewards programs give you a way to get extra value from paying with a credit card – but you need to look at the costs as well as the perks to decide if a rewards credit card is worth it. So, if you're interested in earning points, cashback or other rewards as you spend want a rewards card, you can start by comparing a range of credit cards based on the rewards program, sign-up bonus point offers, costs and your spending habits. You can then read reviews of individual cards, check your eligibility and apply for a card that fits your needs.

Frequently asked questions about rewards cards

  • What is an eligible transaction on a rewards credit card?

Each rewards program and credit card company has a different definition of which transactions earn points. Generally, most of your everyday purchases will earn points, including spending at retail stores, supermarkets and petrol stations. Transactions that usually don't earn points are balance transfers, government charges (including ATO payments), BPAY transactions, cash advances, account fees and account charges. Check the rewards program's terms and conditions for a full list of eligible and ineligible transactions so you know when you will earn rewards.

How do I redeem credit card reward points?

The steps you need to take to redeem your points will vary between credit cards and reward programs, but you can usually expect to have to do the following:

  1. Log in to your account. If you're redeeming points online, you'll need to log in to your credit card or rewards program account to make redemptions. Once you have logged in, it's usually a simple process of going to the "Rewards" section and then selecting "Use points" and following the prompts.
  2. Make sure you have enough points for your reward. You need a certain number of points to redeem each reward (e.g. 12,000 points for a $50 gift card). If you don't have enough points, you may have to wait until you earn more points or consider other options.
  3. Check if points plus pay is offered. Many credit card and frequent flyer reward programs allow you to use a combination of points and money to redeem rewards. This option is usually available for a selection of rewards, such as travel or merchandise and gives you more flexibility if you haven't earned enough points for your chosen reward.
  4. Confirm your chosen reward. Once you've found the reward you want, click through to the redemption process and follow the prompts to complete your redemption.

Who can apply for a rewards credit card?

To apply for a rewards credit card, you need to meet the bank or lender's eligibility criteria. The most common criteria include the following:

  • Minimum income requirement. Because rewards cards often have higher interest rates and annual fees than other types of cards, the minimum income requirement is usually higher as well. It can range from $35,000 for a basic rewards card to $100,000 per year for a super premium option and everything in between.
  • Cardholder status. Many rewards credit cards require you to be a new cardholder in order to take advantage of a bonus points promotion.
  • Age. To apply for any credit card in Australia, you'll need to be at least 18 years old.
  • Residency status. Some lenders require you to be a citizen or permanent resident to be approved, while others allow visa holders and temporary residents to apply as well.
  • Credit history. All credit cards require you to have a clear history and not be an undischarged bankrupt or have any judgements against you.

If you're eligible to apply, you'll also be required to provide documents including payslips and proof of identification. The provider will then assess the details and documents you provide to determine whether you'll be approved for the account.

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Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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